Matthews Keys Comeback

Coming into this game I thought the Bears would win because of the defense and running game. I never envisioned a comeback victory with Shane Matthews leading the charge in the fourth quarter. The win was important, but the way the team won the game was even bigger. Against a quality team the Bears were able to come from behind without Jim Miller and win despite trailing by 19 points midway through the third quarter.

This San Francisco team is no slouch. Jeff Garcia is enough to drive anyone nuts with his ability to run or throw. The thing about Garcia is containment. They had two weeks to find how to attack the Bears, but they couldn't run the ball against Chicago. San Francisco wound up with just 83 yards on the ground after averaging about 190 over their last three games. You have to respect Garcia. He was able to scramble around and find the open receiver. Although, I knew they would win the game when Brian Urlacher picked off Garcia. I'm not into stats, but Garcia is 2-13 when the opposing defense intercepts at least one of his passes. Otherwise he's 10-6. Now he's 2-14.

It was a total team effort. The little things made the difference. James "Big Cat" Williams blocked Jose Cortez field goal attempt. Paul Edinger forced the 49ers to down his kickoff in overtime.

The ball that Terrell Owens dropped in overtime, which Mike Brown intercepted and returned for the winning score, was no fluke. Owens saw Urlacher coming after him and he coughed up the ball. That's why it pays dividends to be known as a hard-hitting team. That wasn't luck it was earned, that bounce.

Shane Matthews coming and doing what he did. He was unbelievable on 4th down conversions. He went 9/10 on the last drive with the only miss coming on a spike to stop the clock. I've been a Matthews' backer for a long time and I was proud of the way he played against San Francisco. To come off the bench cold is a difficult thing for a QB.

The Bears trailed due in part to bad calls by the officials. I don't like to blame that as an excuse, but two calls could have cost Chicago the game. Olin Kreutz was called for being ineligible downfield on Dez White's touchdown reception, which brought the play back. That was too close a call to go against the Bears, in fact it was crap. Then the interception return for a touchdown should have been called back, because Baxter was held going for the pass. Those two plays accounted for a 14-point swing in the 49ers favor.

They're not going to get tested more than they were against the 49ers. The coaching staff has a lot of mistakes to correct, but that gives the team something to work towards.

Despite what Matthews did Dick Jauron has to start Miller if he's healthy. The fact is neither of these guys has proven that they can stay healthy, so both of them will likely get playing time because of that.

Next week could be another difficult game. Cleveland will also have two weeks to prepare for the Bears. The Browns are 4-2 so Chicago can't look past them to the Green Bay game. However, Tim Couch is a pocket passer. Garcia is versatile and the Bears won't see a better QB until Brett Favre. Couch is a good young quarterback, but he is a pocket passer, who doesn't run. Defenses look much better against one-dimensional quarterbacks.

Bear Report Top Stories